Fashion Designers

Season 1 Episode 2

Calvin Klein: A Stylish Obsession

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Calvin Klein: A Stylish Obsession
Calvin Klein has always been well-dressed - whether as a child by his mother or today by his own doing in an outfit with a label bearing his name. And that name - Calvin Klein - has defined and survived fashion trends for nearly 3 decades. Born November 19, 1942 in the Bronx section of New York, Calvin Klein was the favored child of three. His mother doted on him and he would tag along with her to the discount department stores while she shopped rather than play stickball with the other kids. He was a loner who was talented with a pen and often sketched. There was a neighborhood kid who could relate to Calvin's independent spirit and he was Barry Schwartz who to this day is Calvin's best friend and business partner. A work ethic was ingrained in Calvin as a young boy. Both of his parents worked and education was encouraged. Calvin always knew that he wanted to be a fashion designer, even before doing so was...in fashion. Calvin left the Bronx for New York City's High School of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Soon after graduation, he married the beauty from the Bronx, Jayne Centre and in 1967 they had a baby girl, Marci. Calvin worked hard to support his family. Making $75 a week, he would sketch designs from the European runways for his employer, coat mogul Dan Millstein. This tactic of copying was typical for fashion at the time as no original ideas were coming out of America. But Calvin wanted to change all of that. Calvin wanted to start his own fashion company and nothing was going to stop him, not even the fact that he was nearly broke and still working at his father's grocery store to make extra cash. At the age of 26, with a loan of $10,000 from Barry Schwartz who had inherited his father's business, Calvin founded his company. With Barry as his partner, they had plans of conquering, or at least clothing, the world. They set up shop in a small showroom on 7th Avnue. A buyer from the fashionable department store Bonwit Teller was passimoreless
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